Toni Morrison: the Bluest Eye and Sula

2301 words 10 pages
African- American folklore is arguably the basis for most African- American literature. In a country where as late as the 1860's there were laws prohibiting the teaching of slaves, it was necessary for the oral tradition to carry the values the group considered significant. Transition by the word of mouth took the place of pamphlets, poems, and novels. Themes such as the quest for freedom, the nature of evil, and the powerful verses the powerless became the themes of African- American literature. In a book called Fiction and Folklore: the novels of Toni Morrision author Trudier Harris explains that "Early folk beliefs were so powerful a force in the lives of slaves that their masters sought to co-opt that power. Slave masters used such …show more content…

With Claudia giving the background to Cholly's hard life and showing the harsh reality of Pecola's insanity, this oral tale has a certain darkness to it that shows these patterns that have plagued the black race in America.<br><br>Pecola's basic wish for blue eyes ties her to all believers in fairy tales and other magical realms. Pecola is just like Cinderella in the sense that she wants to be something different than what she is naturally. Just like Sleeping beauty, the ugly duckling, and Cinderella The Bluest Eye has a notion of fantasy in it. Because Pecola's life is doomed in a sense, she must resort to fantasy in her own mind. Unlike Cinderella and all the other fairy tales this fantasy that Morrison brings to the page is loaded with the harsh realities of African-American life. Claudia not only tells the story but tries to effect Pecola's fate through her own belief in the power of magic to transform present conditions. Claudia and Frieda attempt to influence Pecola's future by planting the marigolds correctly. They hope, as Pecola does with the offering to the dog, to bring a sort of sympathetic magic that will make Pecola's future more healthy. Unlike most fairy tales, The Bluest Eye does not have a happy ending. The Breedlove family is broken up and Pecola has gone insane. Morrison made no attempt for a happy ending; in fact the book was primarily just to show


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